Sunday, September 11, 2016

You Go to School? Aren't You Like 40?

Today during church, there was like a flock of children around me - not my kids, just random kids.

After a few cleared away, this one little girl came up to me.  For several weeks this little girl has been
mad at me - she has indirectly and directly told my daughter she was mad at me.

I have tried to smooth things over with her by saying hello and smiling, but she is a 6th grader, so I assumed in time it would pass. Today it must have.

This little gal came up stood right in my face and waited for me to talk to her - so I asked "how is life" expecting to get rejected, but she responded with "oh ya know"......

No I really didn't know, and really was not fishing for conversation, was just being polite and seeing if she would answer.

She then responded "life is complicated" .....

I responded, "oh no, well how is school" she quickly responded "that is what is complicated" - hey I am experienced with 6th graders and school being complicated, so maybe I can handle this.  She goes on to tell me that school is so complicated, because she has to switch classes, do homework, and well ya know be responsible.  

I attempted to say that I understood - I also have the complications of school and my life gets rough when switching from work life to doing homework.

Looking up at me with her innocent little eyes she says "Hold up, aren't you like 40, why are you in school"  I chuckled and quickly responded "oh no I am only 34, but you know I wasted a lot of my teen years"................She missed the whole I wasted my teen years and promptly told me that 34 was not that far from 40.

I suspect 40 is closer than 6th grade, so she has me beat.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

God is so Good even when I am so Bad

This week has been a crazy week in our household!  D is struggling with his reading,  D is sick - yep that time of year again, Lesse is busy with basketball, Trey and I's patience are being tested as we are attempting to buy a house, and the list goes on. 

Image Credit Stillwater Bible Church

Through all this I have found my faith and wisdom has grown tremendously - beyond what I had ever dreamed!  No I did not have a miracle, no I was not lifted from my struggles, but every step of the way I have seen the light of God and felt his hand pat my back with a whisper of "stay faithful my child and you will come home".

I did something different two weeks ago, something I have never done before - I joined and all women's Bible Study from my church - say what?  This is not the Becky we knew 5 years ago???

Seriously though it is the Becky that I am now - which is something I have struggled with and my peers have struggled with.  

The old Becky was careless, harsh, and lived just at the edge of right and wrong - never wrong enough to be illegal, but definitely wrong enough to go to hell.  

Then life changed or I changed - okay no neither changed - This is still my crazy life, I still deal with the same  problems, I still look the same, BUT I lean on God.

During the first week my Bible Study group is following along with The Time Warp Warp Wife's Philippians Study (I do recommend this). Our first week we have taken a look at Saul/Paul's conversion to Christ.  We know that his conversion was instant - the scales fell from his eyes and he was baptized.  But what happened next.....

In the Book of Acts it discusses his conversion and the disbelief people had for Paul's conversion - it truly shocked people that a murder could become a preacher.  I am sure it would me also - we see it on Hallmark and it looks nice, but in real life???? We just can't believe it!

Recently I was eavesdropping on a conversation at the grocery store - and a woman was talking to who I assume is her daughter and said "I just don't know how everything he has done you still show love for him". I don't know who "him" is we can only assume "him" broke her heart.....but the real question is "how does she love him" - we could search the web find tons of uplifting babble that will point us in a direction, but not the right direction.  

The answer is "How does God love us so much that he gave his only son to die for our sins and then.....continues to love us while we sin against him"

There is no answer to that - EXCEPT he is a really good father that loves his children and will continue to love and guide us.  

As D says "okay mom what is the moral of the story" - well it is - God changed Saul to Paul, God changed Careless Becky to Thoughtful full of God Becky, and God loves me and whoever "him" is unconditionally. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

School Started - NOW my wallet is EMPTY

Oh it is the most wonderful time of year!  I packed their backpacks, washed their faces, made them breakfast, emptied my wallet, and then sent them to school.
First Day of School 

School has been in session exactly 6 days - and for exactly 6 days I have received a note of some sort requesting me to pay for something to or for school.

Prior to school starting I was met with the school supply list - I am pretty positive I have supplied the school (in the past 7 years) with 100 boxes of kleenexes, 50 rolls of paper towels, and why in the world did they need Mr Clean Magic Erasers this year?   She is in 7th grade he is in 3rd - they are kind of grown out of major messes!

Just hours after pulling up from school supply shopping, I opened my mailbox and discovered a letter from the school informing me that I needed to first pay for school lunches - okay the kids have gotta eat- but second pay the deposit/insurance for my daughters chromebook.  Okay fine - she is an awkward 7th grader - so I footed the bill.

First day of school those shining faces arrived home from school with more bills from the school.  We have Beta dues, Pep Club dues, and I need reeds for my saxophone.  Okay let me open my wallet a little wider - see what we can dig out of there.

Day two of school, hey Mom, they sent home the school picture form - would you like to order photos - ummmm....NO let's just take a selfie and that will do. I can't afford these prices.

On the third day of school "hey mom, coach said I needed to pay for my ball shoes before Friday" okay - there is turnip in the yard, go squeeze it and see if you can get blood from it.

On the fourth day of school I received a lovely letter from the music teacher (who I truly adore and am thankful for) "hey mom I need money for a recorder - it is only $5.00"  - okay can I just hand the school my checkbook and they balance it for me.

On the fifth day of school "hey mom, coach said we could buy polo shirts to wear with khakis for game day - oh I need khakis, but could you pay for the polo today"  yes of course - do you think they know my bank account number well enough yet - maybe they could direct withdraw.

Now I love my kids and I love their school, but I am scratching my head as to how parents do this.

Since August 1st, I have spent over $500 in either school supplies, or something that the school has requested for me to pay.....FOR REAL.

I sat here tonight and stared at my checkbook and scratched my head. 

I live in a community where more than 20% of the population live at poverty level or below.  To be considered at poverty level means the household income is less than $30,000 a year for a family of 4- which equals a gross income of $2500 a month!  That is gross not net!  Either way there is NO WAY a family of that income can afford to fork out $500 for school supplies, school lunches, school clubs, sports, and any other letter I received this week asking for money.  Not to mention that is just for two kids - most families have more kids than me!

I point no fingers - and I did pay for every item requested (after some grumbling to the husband) my question is why does the school administration not see this as an issue.  Are they not aware of how poor people really are?  Do they realize that parents struggle to just get school supplies and then have to sacrifice school pictures because it is just not in the budget for that month?  Do they think it is possible to spread these expenses out a bit - so the sticker shock does not come all at once?

I wonder how many other parents are feeling this way - or is it just me?  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Date a Christian and Your Life will be Different.

Even though no one is available or of age to date - dating is a hot topic in our house.  I know we must discuss it at least 7 times a week, or once a day. Lesse is almost 13, even though she swears "boys are gross", she is "too busy" for boys, and Mom says she may not date until she is much older - dating is still discussed. 

Along with talking to Lesse about dating - I seem to have a lot of single friends - so we chat, discuss, and I often barge in and tell them my two sense on dating.....mostly because I care (or I am just bossy).  

One thing I constantly tell my daughter and my friends is DATE a CHRISTIAN and your life will never be the same.  

Dating a christian is not what you think it is - it is so much more

When you date a christian - you have a whole lot less drama.  Yep, non christian men and non women have drama.  I know that is not fair that I labeled them like that, but the fact is where there is drama you can usually follow the trail back to SIN - a lot of nasty ol sin.   

When you date a christian - you do not feel pressured to put your beliefs aside.  My biggest fear is for daughter or son to turn down the fire they have burning for God - especially for someone who is not on the road to heaven.   You can say "I will go to church alone" and you might, but while you are there satan is hard at work destroying your relationship - so just date someone that goes to church and is on fire for God.  

When you date a christian - you do not have to worry about getting pregnant before getting married.  Bam!  I just said it!  When following Jesus - you DO NOT practice sex before marriage! So you do not have to worry about being a single or a teen mom - which also results in less drama - oh the list goes on! 

When you date a christian - you do not have to worry what your parents will think.  Yep!  No sneaking around for christians - because we have nothing to hide! 

When you date a christian - you don't have to worry about where they will lead you or do to you.  Again, less drama!  Kids do dumb things, but kids that are not christians do really dumb things - so why would you want to mix with someone that does really really dumb things - aka drugs, alcohol, sex, and the list goes on........

Dating is supposed to be.....

Fun, exciting, a way to enjoy life, share the love God has for us with someone here on earth - so before you say yes to that date - ask "are you a Christian and do you go to church"  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Social Media and Your Kids - Tips to Help YOU

As a parent of a tween/teen you will get mixed feedback on social media and your kids! None of it really makes sense, but you are expected to be an expert.  

The first time I realized my child's social media was out of my control was when her school set her
up with a Google account "for school purposes only" but being a veteran social media user - I knew that was just the beginning of her online thumbprint.

Social media is scary - I know - when I was 16 the biggest thing we had going was email - now I am trying to raise children in a society that speaks 140 characters or less, followed by #coding aka #hashtags that increases our presence.  

I sat down this weekend and listened to another teen/tween's mom pour her soul out to me about her fears of social media - and no worries Momma, I have those same fears.  

It is no lie social media is dangerous, but it can also be productive - so while it seems like the devil working (and it can be) there are ways to help prevent the hellstorm (yes I spelled that I wanted it) before it happens. 

What YOU can do as a parent:

Know the law, we do not have to go to law school to know we are responsible for what our child does online, in text, over the phone, and in person.  We as parents sign an invisible contact that we will and are responsible for our children - that includes their online presence.  

Know what accounts your kids have - now here is the trick since you are "legally" responsible for them (even if you only have joint custody) you have the right and really the OBLIGATION to know what they are doing online.  They cannot tell you that it is none of your business - unless of course they plan to get a job, pay rent, buy food, pay for that electronic device, an attorney to help them become legally emancipated.  Don't worry they won't and any sane judge won't grant it.  

Make them give you all passwords, see in my house I am the password dictator - if I don't know your password, pin code, ...yada yada yada - I will pull the plug, all the way down to the charger cord. You will follow my rules or you will not enjoy the simple pleasures. 

Know your kids can lie online , kids can lie to you even on social media - if you click over to Becky Davenport on Facebook you will see I lie to people daily, it shows I have 0 friends.  I am an adult and I believe the people that follow me deserve privacy so I hide my friends - so if I can lie, so can your kids can too!  

Know the privacy settings on your kid's page, realize some may have them full public (not good) and some may have them private, but block you from seeing individual post.  Yes you should stress about this!  If you can't see everything they are posting - then they should not be posting.  

Learn a little online slang, I get tickled at my father-in-law who has no clue what a #TomSelfie is - that is because he does not know what a hashtag is and really has no need to as he is 80 and just fabulous! However, as a parent you should know what hashtags are and understand their meanings.  I once saw a bright young girl post the tag #420allthetime - she had no clue that meant she was thought smoking pot all day was cool - nor did her parents.  This could lead to job loss, career failures, and loss of friends all because of lack of social media education. 

Know how to DELETE and where to delete, there are times you just need to wipe clean and say my bad or their bad!  DELETE is okay. 

Know what apps have visual memory and what apps have virtual memory; oh the love of Snapchat - until some man realized that naked selfie he just sent is saved on some virtual server - and if his wife is smart enough she can recover it - remember nothing is truly secret.

Know their locations settings, do not and I repeat again DO NOT let your kids "check in" places - until they have left.   As a blogger I get paid to say I am at places, but my safety is sooooo much more important than the someone making money.  It is okay to say you were at a place, but wait until you are gone before doing it.  Also know that once you write a review of place or check-in at that location people can read your comment and see your profile - so this could lead to strangers seeing your information/page.

Know their friends, I have this shameful embarrassing story that happened to me (a social media expert) several years ago.  I was popular online, I then lived in a semi-small community, and lots of people knew who I was.  This young man with no profile picture began messaging me and liking my photos - I was in the middle of going through a divorce so the kind words were refreshing.  This young man who I had no clue what he looked like said to me "I saw you tonight - you had your hands full at homecomers" ....I was a bit creeped out and kind of snapped on the young man.  A few minutes later the young man came back and asked me to let him explain.  I gave him a few minutes of my time - only to find out I did know the young man - except he was not a young man he was an older married man in my then community that did a lot of volunteer work - he knew me from the gym, but was too scared to come up in person and talk to me, so had created a fake online profile to talk to me.- needless to say he should have been scared considering he was married.
However, if this could happen to me as an adult, imagine what could happen your child.

Know how to track your child's social media behavior.  When I said there is an app designed to see everything your child does online - other parent's jaw hit the floor.  Well pick it up, because there is lots of apps that help track their online thumbprint.  You can google social media tracking for parent's and come up with a list of good ones - the best I have seen in use is Socially Active  - it gives a pretty good run down of their virtual presence.

Do I think as a parent you should delete all their accounts, yell and scream at them for the social media mess ups?  NO - I think we have to remember they are kid's their brains are not fully developed and we are parents that know nothing - I know I already here those words.  As a parent what you can do is educate yourself, download the apps, find out what kids are doing, and get up in your kid's business! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why you should go to Old Settlers Day in Pulaski County, Missouri

(Disclosure:  Parts of my visit to Pulaski County, Missouri were sponsored, however, all thoughts are my own - I cannot be bought) 

Old Settlers Day in Pulaski County Missouri is more than a festival; it is a community event.   We were outsiders - or were we?  Who could tell as the tiny town of Waynesville, Missouri filled with visitors from all over the world.

The streets smelled like funnel cakes and sno-cones, at distance you could here the sounds of the reenactment, and in front of me I could see the faces of giggling kids running circles around the community's free splash park.

The 36th Annual Old Settlers Day  to be held the weekend of July 30th - you will find the event to be a community celebration of what Pulaski County was, what Pulaski County is, and what Pulaski County will be.  

Here is why you should go

Eat Some Yummy Food

Enjoy Some Refreshing Fun

Enjoy the Past

Feel Community Love

Meet Unique People

Learn to Barter and Trade